Friday, July 29, 2005

They Deserve Respect but Kill'em Anyways

During his speech in favor of H.R. 810 and expanding the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, Bill Frist said this:

I am pro-life. I believe human life begins at conception. It is at this moment that the organism is complete -- yes, immature -- but complete. An embryo is nascent human life. It’s genetically distinct. And it’s biologically human. It’s living. This position is consistent with my faith. But, to me, it isn’t just a matter of faith. It’s a fact of science.

Our development is a continuous process -- gradual and chronological. We were all once embryos. The embryo is human life at its earliest stage of development. And accordingly, the human embryo has moral significance and moral worth. It deserves to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

I also believe that embryonic stem cell research should be encouraged and supported. But, just as I said in 2001, it should advance in a manner that affords all human life dignity and respect -- the same dignity and respect we bring to the table as we work with children and adults to advance the frontiers of medicine and health.

Did anyone else notice the huge gap in reasoning between the second and third paragraphs above. According to Frist, the human embryo is a living, developing human being which has moral significance and worth and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect yet he supports a bill which encourages the continuing destruction of these morally significant human beings.

The plain reality that Frist purposely ignores is that embryonic stem cell research can't be encouraged and supported in a way that affords all human life with dignity and respect. Embryonic stem cell research and the extraction of embryonic stem cells requires that one class of human beings be treated as mere commodities.

Can you imagine someone who claims to be an animal rights activist saying, "I believe that all bunny rabbits regardless of size or level of development have moral worth and deserve to be treated with respect. I also believe that it should be legal to intentionally kill these bunny rabbits for no other reason than to experiment on their parts. I also think that federal tax dollars should pay for these experiments on bunny rabbit parts even if they require the continual destruction of bunny rabbits."

Married to a Feminist

There was an interesting piece in the LA Times yesterday by Crispin Sartwell, who teaches political science at Dickinson College, regarding Jane Sullivan Roberts and feminism.

Prof. Sartwell comes to a much different conclusion than Sherry Colb.

So Ms. Roberts' anti-abortion feminism is sensible and logical. There are a hundred aspects of a feminist agenda that she can enthusiastically endorse and that may have been and may in the future be essential to her personal and professional life. This may lead to some lively conversations around the Roberts' home.

We don't know whether the Robertses — much as Marion and I — argue about feminism and abortion over breakfast. But when you marry someone like my spouse or Mr. Roberts', you'd better be willing to defend yourself.

HT: Feministing (where many of the commenters disagree with Sartwell's conclusion)

Friday Cat Blogging

"My head is much too large for the rest of my body so I'm not happy. And yes, I do have a slight ear hair problem."

Senator Frist Disappoints

Senator Bill Frist, the Senate Majority Leader, has come out in favor of H.R. 810, a bill which would expand the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research even though President Bush has threatened to veto this legislation.

Numerous prolife bloggers are discussing Frist's position including:

Freedom Of....



Kathryn Jean Lopez is all over his Senate speech at the Corner including the favorable responses from numerous pro-choice senators.

I am continually disappointed by politicians and individuals who recognize the scientific reality that the unborn are living human beings yet are in favor of not only killing these living human beings for their parts but also favor tax dollars being given to researchers to experiment on these parts.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Ted Rall on John Roberts

If you wanted to know (I know you don't) how cartoonist Ted Rall feels about John Roberts, here's his latest column.

The column is good for some laughs. He calls Jane Sullivan Roberts a "militant anti-abortion activist" because she has associations with Feminists for Life. He declares that Feminists for Life is a "Catholic" organization. He's certain (despite reports otherwise) that John Roberts is a member of a "far-right cadre of scary college kids who worship Ayn Rand, dress like Tucker Carlson and care deeply about your sex life" (aka the Federalist Society).

Your Choice = Your Responsibility

How many times have you read the testimony of a post-abortive women on a pro-choice or prolife web site where the woman describes the position of her boyfriend or husband as "he said he would support me in whatever I decided to do" or something along those lines?

From my experience, that's how a majority of post-abortive women describe their partners' response to the unplanned pregnancy. Sure, the responses can range from boyfriends attempting to coerce their girlfriend into an abortion by threatening a breakup to men who desperately what to prevent their partner from going thru with an abortion but for the most part it seems that partners of women in unplanned pregnancies often fail to give women any kind of feedback on how they are feeling with regards to abortion.

Almost as if, "it's your choice" so the father's opinions/feelings basically don't matter to him and I think he often perceives that they don't matter to his partner even at times when the woman really wants her partner's opinion so she can weigh that with her feelings.

This reasoning also seems to take on another turn in the minds of some men with partners in unplanned pregnancies. "It's your choice" often seems to quickly slide into a mindset of indifference and irresponsibility with "it's your responsibility." "You made the choice (to abort or parent), deal with it." Because they feel they have no say on how a pregnancy ends (birth or abortion), unplanned fathers can often feel like they shouldn't have to take any responsibility for what happens once the decision is made and the pregnancy ends.

They, in turn, abandon the mother and release themselves from any obligations they have towards their partner and their child.

How many women and children have been failed by men who've adopted this mindset of indifference towards their partner's decision? How many men who wanted their partner to abort have feelings of animosity towards children they didn't want to be born? Do those who advocate the "your choice" line of reasoning with abortion see how easily "your choice" can become "your responsibility?"

Life Links 7/28

Apologia Christi has started a series entitled "Answering Pro-Abortion Arguments."

Pro-choice writer William Saletan discusses how the 14-day rule for experimenting on human embryos is wholly arbitrary in the third of his series on embryonic stem cell research and human cloning.

In the fourth entry of his series he then precedes to use new wholly arbitrary criteria to reason that it is ethical to experiment on/remove tissue from human embryos through 7 weeks.

Tony Blakley has an interesting piece which discusses artificial wombs.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Sherry Colb on Feminists for Life

Sherry Colb, a contributor and Rutgers law professor, discusses Feminists for Life since Supreme Court nominee John Roberts is married to their former vice-president, Jane Sullivan Roberts.

Colb attempts to discuss whether an individual can be prolife and a feminist at the same time. Like most of Colb's writings, her obvious distaste for prolife people and their views is evident and she seems completely incapable of making an actual argument.

Nowhere in the column does Colb actually take the time to define feminism. So then how does she determine whether Feminists for Life are actual feminists or phony feminists? Good question. Colb doesn't feel FFL is a feminist organization because "the group's priority" isn't "improving the lives of women" but rather eliminating abortion. Do you notice the enormous "elephant in the room" assumption? Eliminating abortion doesn't improve the lives of women.

In her attack on FFL she brings up their posters but never mentions Feminists for Life work work in helping to pass legislation that helps women in crisis pregnancies.

Just a tidbit more of Colb - it's difficult to take swallow the whole essay:

First, the posters mislead the viewer by suggesting that babies and young women are the victims (or potential victims) of abortion. As I discussed in an earlier column, the overwhelming majority of abortions occur early in pregnancy, when a fetus or embryo is not what many people would consider a baby at all.

Do you see the logic here? That's right. If "many people" don't consider the fetus to be a "baby" then babies and young women aren't victims of abortion. Bravo!! If "many people" don't consider something a baby, then nothing is actually harmed in an abortion.

It is true, of course, that the babies and young adult pictured in the posters would not have been born if their mothers had had abortions. However, it is also true that they would not have been born if their mothers had used contraception or, in the case of the young adult, if her father had not raped her mother. Does that mean that we should consider contraception murder or that when an ovulating woman is being raped, people should not intervene? Certainly not.

Colb seems to have difficulty realizing that the unborn actually exist. It isn't a future thing which doesn't currently exist that could come into existence sometime in the future but an actual thing that currently exists. The difference between killing the unborn (via abortion) and preventing something from ever existing (via not having sex during a certain day or using contraception) fails to register with Colb.

Colb, "a law professor," then goes on to equate reversing Roe v. Wade with criminalizing abortion. It's so frustrating when someone who teaches law equates overturning a Supreme Court ruling with making abortion illegal. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, that doesn't necessarily make abortion illegal. I would hope that Colb would know this. States will have to pass laws and/or keep abortion laws from being overturned in order to make abortion illegal. Overturning Roe simply eliminates the Supreme Court from controlling abortion laws.

Colb goes on to conclude that, "Judge Roberts may be an unknown quantity on some other issues, but on this one, it is clear that President Bush has deliberately selected a pro-life candidate and that a Justice Roberts would very likely work to turn back the clock on Roe v. Wade."

Abortion and Depression

Ashli at S.I.C.L.E. Cell links to an article by Daniel Allott in the American Spectator where he discusses abortion and depression.

Another study in the non-partisan American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse reported an increase in substance abuse experienced by post-abortive women. Women who had no history of substance abuse prior to their first pregnancy were, on average, twice as likely to abuse alcohol, more than twice as likely to abuse marijuana, and nearly three times as likely to use cocaine, as women who did not abort. In fact, there have been dozens of recent studies confirming the strong association between abortion and subsequent drug and alcohol abuse, which, in turn, are strongly correlated with depression.....

What this means is that if a woman who gave birth as a teen was depressed years later, it was usually due to dire financial straits or relationship problems and not to the fact that she bore a child at an early age. Conversely, if a woman who aborted her first child as a teen was depressed years later, it was probably not due to financial difficulties, poor physical health or a negative sense of efficacy. Instead, her depression could be linked directly to the abortion experience itself.

Also, I found that on average, all else being equal, a woman who aborted at or before the age of 20 had a depression score 15 percent higher than a woman who did not become pregnant as a youth.

Pro-Choice Truth

Naaman has tipped me off to the recent addition of the online ‘zine Our Truths which its editor says is "meant to be a thoughtful and accessible publication that helps to connect diverse abortion experiences with activism around abortion rights."

The editor, Emily Louise Barcklow, also felt a "complete disconnect from the mainstream pro-choice movement" after attending a speak out to discuss her abortion and finding a "room full of clothes-hangers and re cycled "We won't go back" signs—stale messages that didn't reflect (her) experience."

She then publishes various essays or poems of women who've had experiences with abortion.

After getting only 2 hours of sleep, going to a clinic away from her home so she wouldn't run into anyone she knew, not watching the abortionist work, throwing up after the abortion, talking to a girl who felt her 16 week old child move before the abortion, and witnessing another woman crying very hard, Fi Day says,

In all reality, I didn't want to admit that it was one of the easiest things I've ever done. I could do it again. It really wasn't the big deal people make it out to be. It was no harder than getting a tooth pulled. I haven't felt one feeling of sadness to this day. And if that makes me sound heartless, then so be it.

Birgit Nielsen ends her essay, "White Babies," by claiming that prolifers only care about white babies.

Pauline Tsai, who aborted her child at 20 weeks because he had Trisomy 13 includes a poem entitled "On Losing You."

Shock like cold water thrown in my face.
I am shattered into a million shards.
The shock of realizing that you were not coming.
Not in November, not ever.
The disappointment of knowing we'd never
meet and there is nothing I, or anyone can do
to change that.
Now I cannot nurse you as I dreamed of.
Settling instead for drawing your tiny casket
close to my heart.
Kissing it gently goodbye
Over an over.
Family members visit the cemetery not the
No congratulations only condolences.
Birth Announcement now an obituary.
Bassinet becomes a casket.
I wait for someone to tell me this is all a big mistake.
They do not.
I hurt.
It is excruciating.
I am certain it will never go away. I wonder if it will kill me.
I wonder if you miss me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Just Plain Stupid

If you think pro-choice organizations are desperately seeking to prevent John Roberts from sitting on the Supreme Court but are shooting with blanks, you're right. Here's the proof - NARAL's Exterme Makeover: Supreme Court Edition.

For those few people who actually still trust NARAL, it seems that if John Roberts is confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court the following things will occur:

Members of the U.S. Supreme Court will sleep in your bed (it could be a tight squeeze - Scalia likes his donuts), your birth control pills will be taken away (but of course - that's the prolife movement's #1 target), George Bush and the government will prevent you from talking to your children about sex (wait - you're telling me I wasn't delivered by a stork?), Karl Rove will control what newspapers print (Pssst... He already does), and Pat Robertson will control your television remote ("The 700 Club" anyone?).

Do they really think that anyone takes them seriously anymore?

If you want to stop the extreme makeover, you'll come to a page that describes John Roberts as a "right-wing judicial activist" who has "spent his career advocating ending the right to choose."

Clone and Grow

William Saletan of Slate, who is in favor of embryonic stem cell research, discusses a study where researchers removed animal embryos from their mothers and injected the area where their kidneys were developing with adult stem cells. They then grew the embryos in-vitro for a couple days before they died. They removed the rudimentary kidneys from the animals and the kidney tissue continued to grow.

The authors called this "an in vitro organ factory." Technically, that was correct, since the factory was in a lab dish. But the factory itself was a rat. The human cells were inside a living organ inside a living being inside a dish. The distinction between in vivo and in vitro had collapsed. So had the barrier to making transplantable tissue. The report's final sentence said it all: "Here, we have demonstrated a system that might provide the means to generate self-organs … by using the inherent developmental system of an immunocompromised xenogeneic host."

Inherent developmental system. That's the key: a 9-day rat, a 4-week pig, a 6-week calf. But those are all foreign species—"xenogeneic," in the language of the Japanese study. They have to be "immunocompromised"—deprived of the ability to reject your cells—because their DNA doesn't match yours. The only developmental system that doesn't have to be immunocompromised is your clone.

Don't be scared. We don't have to grow a whole new you. Judging from the studies we looked at yesterday, an embryo cloned from one of your cells would need just six or seven weeks to grow many of the tissues you need. We already condone harvesting of cells from cloned human embryos for the first two weeks. Why stop there? We'll tackle that question tomorrow.

I guess we'll have to wait and see if Saletan is in favor of cloning human embryos, implanting them in women for 6 or 7 weeks and then removing them to get mini-organs.

We already condone? Who's the "we?" The Slate staff? Pro-cloning-for-research groups?

Romney: "I am prolife"

Mitt Romney says, "I am prolife" in a Boston Globe editorial where he explains why he vetoed a bill on the morning-after-pill.

For all the conflicting views on this issue, it speaks well of our country that we recognize abortion as a problem. The law may call it a right, but no one ever called it a good, and, in the quiet of conscience people of both political parties know that more than a million abortions a year cannot be squared with the good heart of America.

Friday, July 22, 2005

How do you spell desperate?

When you don't have any real ammo on a judicial nominee, it looks like "gaydar" and adoption conspiracy theories are what's left.

Here are a few quote and links to some nuts at Daily Kos who thinks that Judge Roberts may be gay because he married late and his children are adopted. Thankfully, it appears that many people commenting don't agree.

"Is he someone who has any serious problems in the closet. Is he a closeted gay guy who takes homophobic positions in public to make himself look more straight? Are there any serious complaints about how he's treated his wife or children?"

"I don't have a highly refined gaydar but what there is of it goes off when I see pictures of Roberts.

Allowing his son to be dressed like that on national television also strikes me as someone with an "out of the mainstream" fashion sense.

The late marriage and adopted kids also makes it look like he is putting on a show. He certainly isn't a breeder himself."

"Did you see Roberts' two little blonde children at his Bush introduction? They are adopted.

He married at 41 to a female attorney who works in an anti-choice group. They apparently couldn't have children on their own, so they got two picture-perfect ones somewhere.

Where did the children they adopted come from? Private adoption? A "save the babies" outfit associated with the anti-choice movement? An outfit that finds home for cute blond babies in good Catholic homes?

When did the adoptions take place? Was the arrangement "assisted" by his Republican friends in any way? There are more ways to get a payoff for services rendered than a briefcase full of cash. He did his work for the Bush 2000 campaign gratis - what did he get in return?"

"Married at 41

Two adopted kids

My gaydar is tingling"

"Both Children Adopted

I wonder how long he had to wait for blonds."

"open for discussion- is he gay?

most guys who are that political and that ambitious don't wait that long to get married. i also note his kids are adopted. yes, i know that doesn't prove anything. but, frankly, it caught my eye."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Scoreboard has Changed

It's an even bigger blowout now. 65 to 0.

According to Do No Harm, adult stem cells have now benefitted human beings with 65 different diseases while embryonic stem cells have yet to treat one human being.

HT: Secondhand Smoke

Abortion is wonderful?

Pinko Feminist Hellcat says that "Abortion is wonderful." (Warning - profanity)

For me, abortion is not horrible, it's a godsend.

Make sure to check out all the support ("you've really outdone yourself...beautifully," "that was wonderful," "I've tried to say the same thing several times," "Really awesome post," etc., etc.) she gets in the comments section from other pro-choicers.

It's interesting because I've stood across the street from an abortion clinic on numerous occasions praying for the women who enter and I've never seen a woman enter the clinic acting like her experience is going to be "wonderful." I've never seen a woman leave after her abortion with a big smile on her face, saying, "That rocked."

London Attacked Again

It appears that London's subway has been attacked again.

Two weeks after suicide attacks on subway stations and a bus, police reported incidents at three subway stations and an official said the windows of a double-decker bus were blown out Thursday.

Police said one person was hurt but stressed that the scale of the attack was not on the order of the July 7 bombings in which 52 people and four suicide attackers were killed.

Fox News is reporting conflicting reports of no casualteis and one casuality.

The BBC has mentioned that "there were reports the injured person may have been holding a rucksack containing the detonator."

UPDATE #2: To keep informed go to the Guardian's NewsBlog

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Pro-Choice Protests Already?

Note to Planned Parenthood: The Supreme Court is on vacation until October.

Life Links 7/20

Dawn Eden is highlighting the post of a blogger and probable medical student who recently performed at least 5 abortions at Planned Parenthood before examining her beliefs on abortion.

This AP article mentions After Abortion and ProlifeBlogs regarding Senator Barbara Boxer's defense of the "5,000 deaths a year from illegal abortion" myth. HT: Real Choice

John G. Roberts Jr. = NARAL's nightmare

Prolife Blogs has numerous links regarding the nomination of John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It is also notable that his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, attended Holy Cross and was formerly the executive vice president of public policy for Feminists for Life.

John G. Roberts Jr. is a nightmare for NARAL. They call him a "divisive" nominee with a "record of seeking to impose a political agenda on the courts." They seem to have dropped their "extreme and out of the mainstream" line. Too bad that Roberts is smart, well-qualified, conservative, and young. At 50, he could easily serve 25 years.

Planned Parenthood is less hysterical, saying Roberts nomination "raises serious questions and grave concerns for women's health and safety" and calling on him to answer questions regarding his position on "reproductive freedom."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Edith Brown Clement and Abortion (Part Two)

During her nomination to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Clement was asked, "Do you believe the constitutional right to privacy encompasses a woman's right to have an abortion?"

Her reply: "The Supreme Court has clearly held that the right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution includes the right to have an abortion. The cases handed down by the Supreme Court on the right to abortion have reaffirmed and redefined this right, and the law is settled in that regard. If confirmed, I will faithfully apply Supreme Court precedent."

I don't think this statement at all disqualifies Judge Clement from being opposed to Roe. As a member of a lower court she is held to the rulings of the Supreme Court and this statement seems to recognize that. Even though Bill Pryor is obviously opposed to abortion, when answering question before the Judiciary Committee he said, "I have a record as attorney general that is separate from my personal beliefs," he told Hatch. "I am able to put aside personal beliefs and follow the law, even when I strongly disagree with it."

A similar thing occurred with Charles Pickering during his confirmation hearings:

"Both Senators Feinstein and Cantwell (D-WA) asked questions about abortion, referring to pro-life positions Pickering had taken while a state senator in the 1970s. ‘Senator, I know the difference between a political decision and a judicial decision,' he responded to Cantwell, whose questioning was much more aggressive. ‘I would follow the law.'"

I'd also point to what Hadley Arkes said at National Review, "I would vouch for Joy Clement myself, and I would vouch for Edith Jones. But as I commend Joy Clement, I open myself to these searching questions from friends who have suffered the lessons of experience: If we know little, really, about her philosophy or jural principles, how do know that she will not alter when she is suddenly showered with acclaim from the law schools at Harvard and Columbia? Will she not be lured as she is praised in measures ever grander, as a jurist of high rank, as she "grows" with each step ever more "moderate" and liberal? Those who commend her face the risk of joining the ranks of those who offered assurance on Kennedy and Souter, and lost forevermore their credibility.....

But on the other hand, Edith Clement may be the stealth candidate who, for once, delivers to the other side the jolt of an unwelcome surprise. She may be the disarming candidate who truly disarms before she goes on to do the most important work that a conservative jurist at this moment can do."

Edith Brown Clement and Abortion

The recent buzz regarding Bush's upcoming nomination to the Supreme Court tonight is it will be Edith Brown Clement. As Tim has already mentioned, her record with regards to abortion is sparse.

However, one ruling that should be noted is Planned Parenthood v. Sanchez, which was decided in March of 2005. In this case, the state of Texas passed a law to prevent federal family planning funds from being used to help finance abortion and entities that perform abortion. Basically, the state of Texas didn't want federal family planning dollars being used to pay for the upkeep (utilities, rent, phone bills, etc.) of entities that provide both abortion and family planning.

Planned Parenthood sued because they felt that this law 1.) "imposes an unconstitutional condition" on their eligibility for funds 2.) "imposes an unconstitutional burden on a woman's right to obtain an abortion" and 3.) "violates the Supremacy Clause..."

The district court blocked this legislation with an injunction because Judge Sam Sparks felt Rider 8 (the part dealing with abortion) blocked Planned Parenthood from creating "affiliates" who wouldn't perform abortions and could therefore receive family planning funds. The district court's decision was overturned by Judge Higginbotham's unanimous opinion (joined by James Dennis and Edith Brown Clement).

They sent the case back to the district court and ruled that Planned Parenthood and its affiliates could receive federal family planning funding as long as they created "affiliates" who were not involved in abortion.

This has been described in an e-mail by Ed Whelan, of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, as a "modest win" for prolifers. Here's the reaction from Planned Parenthood.

It is also good to know that the People for the American Way strongly oppose her.

BushvChoice and NARAL are also not eased by Clement's nomination.

The Detroit News still doesn't understand stem cell research

Go to this Cybersurvey by the Detroit News and try to figure out what each option actually means.

The question is:

The bill before the Senate that would permit federal funding of stem-cell research on excess embryos stored at in-vitro fertilization clinics is now being joined by several other stem-cell bills (editor - this text links to an article which discusses bills that would encourage research into options that don't necessitate the destruction of human embryos) that would limit research to live embryos. Several scientists testified that it will take years to determine whether techniques that do not destroy embryos would work. What should Congress do?

The options then follow:

Pass the current bill

The "current bill" seems to mean H.R. 810, which would allow federal funding of research on embryonic stem cell lines created from the stem cell extracted from human embryos.

Pass a bill that limits research to live embryos

The Detroit News seem to be referencing some bills to fund alternatives to embryonic stem cell research that may be able to create pluripotent stem cells without killing embryos but for some reason say that this research would be limited to live embryos, as if the other research deals with only dead embryos. Are they trying to avoid saying "limits research to alternatives that don't kill human embryos" but don't want to mention that one stem cell bill requires the deaths of human embryos? It appears so. This is a perfect example of how a reporter's or editor's bias morphs a question that should be relatively straightforward into something that is completely nonsensical.

Keep the total ban, don't pass any bill

"Total ban?" What "total ban?" The "total ban" where the federal government spends tens of millions of dollars on the research that they've "totally banned."

Monday, July 18, 2005

Believe in yourself?

Last night while surfing channels to find something to watch right before I went to bed I came across a channel playing the first service of Lakewood Church at the former Compaq Center. Joel Osteen was speaking and besides wowing at the size of the place and how full it was, the main message was "believe in yourself." Joel discussed how he had to believe in himself and not let the cynics get him down when he was working on moving his church to the Compaq Center.

It reminded me of something I recently read in G.K. Chesterton's "Orthodoxy: The Romance of Faith," a book he wrote to answer the question, "if a man is not to believe in himself, in what is he to believe?"

"Shall I tell you where the men who are who believe in themselves more colossally than Napoleon or Caesar. I know where flames the fixed star of certainty and success. I can guide you to the thrones of the Supermen. The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums....."

"If you consulted your business experience instead of your ugly individualistic philosophy, you would know that believing in himself is one of the commonest signs of a rotter. Actors who can't act believe in themselves; and debtors who won't pay. It would be much truer to say that a man will certainly fail, because he believes in himself. Complete self-confidence is not merely a sin; complete self-confidence is a weakness. Believing utterly in one's self is a hysterical and superstitious belief like believing in Joanna Southcote."

Are you opposed to human cloning for research?

Well if you are, you should know that the writers of the American Journal of Bioethics Blog equate your views with those of individuals who think the world is flat and are "book burning fruitcakes." The blog entry also misleadingly calls embryos created thru cloning - "SCNT-derived embryo-like things."

Those in favor of human cloning for research reach new lows of "debate" as they call names and then sarcastically praise opponents of cloning for not "scandalizing the other side" in the same paragraph.

They're mad because a prolife organization called the Bioethics Defense Fund has placed a large billboard which educates the public on LSU's and Tulane's advocacy against a comprehensive ban on cloning in the state of Louisiana.

Prolife Rapper Nick Cannon on the Tonight Show

On Friday, July 15, Nick Cannon appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I just caught the end of the interview but I did see the part where Cannon discussed his song "Can I Live" which is about his mother's unplanned pregnancy and how she visited an abortion clinic before deciding to give birth to Nick.

I was somewhat surprised at how receptive the audience and Leno were to Cannon's story. He got laughs when he mentioned that he likes to tell his mother that he was the one telling her to leave the abortion clinic and I think I remember applause when he discussed some ways in which his video has changed people's lives, including mentioning a woman who decided against abortion and later found out she was pregnant with twins.

The more publicity this song and video get, the better.

Which other nominations to the Supreme Court by Republicans have been attacked?

While pro-choice organizations like NARAL and Planned Parenthood are gearing up for a stream of attacks on whoever President Bush nominates to the Supreme Court, it's interesting to know which other nominees liberal groups and Senators have attacked.

From a speech on the Senate Floor by Senator Mitch McConnell:

"Take what was said about one current member of the Court. During his nomination hearing, he was denounced for his "consistent opposition to women's rights." We were told this nominee's actions "revealed an extraordinary lack of sensitivity to the problems women face in the marketplace, as well as an extraordinary lack of sensitivity to the Equal Employment Opportunity Act."

"We were told this nominee had a "propensity to find against a female plaintiff," that his judicial decisions "have flown in the face of the applicable law as duly passed by Congress," and his record "raises the question of whether he can fairly, judiciously, and impartially review those cases which will reach him as a Justice on the Supreme Court."

"These incredibly harsh criticisms were made by the National Organization of Women. The nominee? Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, appointed to the Court by President Gerald Ford in 1975........

"Let me give you a more recent example regarding another current justice. Before this person's confirmation hearing, one liberal activist group concluded the nominee's "opinions and legal briefs threaten to undo the advances made by women, minorities, dissenters and other disadvantaged groups." And during his hearing, this group said it was "convinced that [this nominee] will not protect the rights of those suffering discrimination on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or literacy."

"Nan Aron of the Alliance for Justice made these accusations. I notice Ms. Aron's group, and more like it, are just as ready to pounce on the new nominee today.

"Who was she talking about? Justice David Souter, appointed to the Supreme Court by President George Herbert Walker Bush in 1990...."

Friday, July 15, 2005

Life Links 7/15

Scott Klusendorf and Wesley Smith discuss the guidelines in the Netherlands for killing disabled infants which were approved by Dutch pediatricians.

Annie at Purposeful Dreamer is discussing the charges against a "model agency" owner (whom she's met) who seems to have taken a 14-year-old girl to the abortion clinic next door to his office and raped her under the guise of "applying a special abortion cream."

Sounds like The Island could be a movie that's worth seeing.

The Island takes an absolutely uncompromising stance in opposing this sort of human harvesting - and, indeed, a few lines are buried in the film that even suggest the filmmakers' distaste for what happened to Terri Schiavo.

Pro-choice and Pregnant

Nick Kiddle has a post at Alas, a Blog in which she discusses her pregnancy and "her baby" with regards to her pro-choice views.

In the post, she attempts to navigate thru how pro-choice people can justify the vastly different ways some people treat a wanted unborn child compared to the treatment of an unwanted unborn child.

Her explanation begins with an inaccurate factual statement.

My baby is not yet a human being.

Like many pro-choice people who casually make statements of this kind, she provides no evidence showing her "baby" is something other than a living, developing human being.

Even with special care, it is very unlikely to be capable of surviving on its own if it were removed from my body. It needs my bloodstream and my uterus to have even a chance of becoming a human being.

When and how her baby will become a human being is never specifically addressed. I could infer that she believes her baby's capability of "surviving on its own if it were removed from" her body is what makes her baby a human being, but she never specifically says that or tries to argue that.

Although it's genetically distinct from me, it doesn't seem unreasonable to view it as a part of my body. A part that could, given the right conditions, become a separate person, but until that happens a part of me.

Why doesn't it seem unreasonable? Talk about begging the question. Why doesn't it seem unreasonable to believe that your body has 4 arms, 4 legs, 4 eyes, 2 brains, 20 fingers, etc? Why doesn't it seem unreasonable to believe that an entity that is directing its own development, has a completely separate DNA code, and is genetically distinct isn't part of you?

She provides no reasoning as to when the unborn would become a "person" and seems to be using the terms "person" and "human being" interchangeably. What "right conditions" make your baby into "a separate person?"

She goes on to argue that because she believes that her baby is a part of her and she is allowed to place various values on parts of her body that therefore she and other women can place varying values on the unborn.

This is partly why miscarriage can be so devastating. A woman who anticipates with joy the time when her fetus becomes a fully-fledged human being invests those cells with a great deal of value. If they are destroyed, she's lost a part of herself that she loved and welcomed, and will naturally feel a degree of grief.

Do women grieve over their miscarried children like they would grieve over the loss of a body part? Say a finger or toe. Or do they grieve over their miscarried children like they would grieve over the loss of another human being who they loved? Don't women grieve as if they've lost a child, not as if they lost a part of their body?

Later in the comments section, Kiddle provides an even greater view of this type of pro-choice thinking.

It doesn't seem revolutionary to say that we place a higher value on what we want than on what we don't want. Nor that, since the fetus is incapable of placing a value on itself, it can only derive its value from the value others place on it.

Actually, she's right. It isn't revolutionary. Numerous countries/societies/people have placed higher value on human beings that they wanted compared to the human beings they didn't want. The results? Not so good. Just because this type of discrimination has happened before, doesn't make it right.

Also, notice Kiddle's form of thinking with regards to whether human beings are instrumental or intrinsically valuable. Things are valuable because of the value that others place on them. I could use the same kind of argument with numerous other types of human beings that may or may not be valued by other. For example, "since the infant is incapable of placing a value on itself, it can only derive its value form the value others place on it." Or "since no one places value on the homeless man, including himself, he isn't valuable."

I'd also ask, why does a fetus' inability to place value on itself affect whether he or she is valuable or not? When I fall asleep, my lack of consciousness prevents me from placing value on myself, do I then lose and regain my value as I come in and out of consciousness? Or is my value when I sleep only determined by the value that other place on me, since I can't derive my value from my unconscious self? But what happens to my value if all those who place value on me are sleeping as well?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

College Prolifers Injured in London Terrorist Attacks

There has been a large amount of news coverage regarding two American sisters, Kathleen and Emily Benton, from Tennessee who were injured in during the terrorist attacks in London and are currently at Duke Medical Center receiving treatment. I just recently discovered that these two young ladies are actively involved in a college prolife group, University of Tennessee Pro-Life Collegians. Kathleen (Katie), is president of the group.

Here are two articles (you'll need to register for the second) where Katie's efforts on behalf of the unborn have been featured.

You can receive updates regarding their condition here.

The latest update says, "As of 5 p.m. eastern time Wednesday, Emily and Katie Benton, the Americans injured in last week's bombings in London, remain in good condition at Duke University Hospital. The surgical team has released both women from the intensive care unit, where they had been placed following reconstructive surgery Monday. Their physicians report that the two are "stable and progressing well."

Scissors in the back of head = Good, Pollution = Bad

Here's an interesting story from Reuters regarding a study which shows that "unborn babies carry pollutants."

Unborn U.S. babies are soaking in a stew of chemicals, including mercury, gasoline byproducts and pesticides, according to a report released on Thursday.

Although the effects on the babies are not clear, the survey prompted several members of Congress to press for legislation that would strengthen controls on chemicals in the environment.....

"These 10 newborn babies ... were born polluted," said New York Rep. Louise Slaughter, who spoke a news conference about the findings on Thursday.

"If ever we had proof that our nation's pollution laws aren't working, it's reading the list of industrial chemicals in the bodies of babies who have not yet lived outside the womb," Slaughter, a Democrat, said.

Isn't it nice to know that Louise Slaughter cares for those unborn children? To know that she recognizes that even though they aren't outside the womb, she considers the unborn to be "babies" is great. But wait just one second.

Lousie Slaughter has a 0% voting record with National Right to Life for this year, 0% during the 2003-2004 session, and 0% during the 2001-2002 session. You get the trend.

Isn't it odd that Louise Slaughter, a woman who voted against legislation which barred the killing of children who are partially-born, who lead pro-choice opposition against legislation to charge criminals assaulting pregnant women and their unborn children with two crimes, is suddenly concerned about the health of unborn babies?

In her objection to the pollution inside the unborn, she also mentions that they have "bodies." That's in stark contrast to how she described the ban on partial-birth abortion:

"an attempt to whittle away at a woman's constitutional right to her privacy and control of her body,"

But Louise, if babies who are not born have bodies don't also babies who are partially born have bodies as well? Don't both the woman and the child have bodies? Wouldn't the ban on partial-birth abortion be protecting the child's body?

Trouble in Paradise

Ann at Feministing has been kind enough to scan and post this story in the August 2005 edition of Glamour magazine entitled, "The mysterious disappearance of young pro-choice women."

It discusses the shifting of positions of young women over time with regards to their views on abortion. Various theories are put forth - confidence in birth control, different prolife approaches, ultrasound technology, a new reverence for motherhood among celebrities, young women don't realize what it was like before Roe v. Wade, etc.

Something that I found to be especially interesting is on page 217. Naomi Wolf, a longtime pro-choice activist, discusses how her views on abortion have shifted, admitting "the issue got more complicated when I got pregnant." The article goes to describe Wolf's current position in the abortion debate:

Wolf now sees value in the way some European countries do it: free, legal abortion in the first trimester but close regulation thereafter (with exceptions for cases in which the health or life of the mother is in jeopardy. Rigidly insisting on the right to elective abortion late in the second trimester, she argues, "is a loser of a position, and it's not what we should be fighting this battle on... and I'm not even sure it's right.....Would pro-life women maybe be more willing to support a safe reproductive agend" - including legal first trimester abortion - "if the pro-choice side wasn't out there screaming about the right to terminate what feels to many women like a living being at five or six months?" asks Wolf.

This line of thinking didn't go over too well with former president of Planned Parenthood, Gloria Feldt. Fidelity to abortion on demand is a seemingly a must.

"Naomi should stop yapping about giving something up and start concentrating on making sure women continue to have access in the first trimester," responds a frustrated Feldt.....Ceding any more ground could prove devastating, Feldt believes. Why? Because, she maintains, "The political forces opposed to abortion are the same factions who want to eliminate sex education and make it harder to get access to the morning-after pill and other contraception," she says..... "This is about the consequences of letting the political power go to people who will take away every other reproductive right...."

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Oh no! They're going to take our pills!!

Pseudo-Adrienne of Alas, a Blog (a fairly popular pro-choice feminist blog that usually features the more rational writing of Ampersand) has added to the pro-choice movement's absurd scare tactic of linking the legality of abortion with the legality of birth control with this latest post/screech.

The basic idea is that if Roe v. Wade is overturned then Griswold v. Connecticut is not far behind. If Griswold (the Supreme Court ruling that overturned a Connecticut law that dealt with contraceptives and married couples) is overturned then bye-bye birth control, or so she says. Which state legislature or legislatures would pass a law banning contraceptives that would be signed by a governor in the year 2005 is never mentioned. Nor are any efforts made to identify the powerful interest groups or politicians who think birth control pills or condoms should be illegal.

It's almost like some people think that if the Supreme Court doesn't declare an act to be a constitutionally granted right then that act will suddenly no longer be legal.

Has the Supreme Court recognized a right to drive yet? My ability to cruise around town is going bye-bye. What about owning pets? Have they found that right in the Constitution recently? No? It seems my cats will soon be taken away.

And in case you're wondering why prolifers want to take away contraceptives, here's why according to Pseudo-Adrienne:

Women are just baby-assembly-lines to them after all...

......we're women and our rights only exist when they're convenient for the [mostly male] lawmakers. This is about women's privacy and restricting it as much as possible in order to make sure that they ‘fulfill their biological and sacrosanct duties as women‘, as the uber-conservative Christian Rightwing's ideology would have you to believe.

Today is the 11 month anniversary of my marriage to a beautiful, fun, intelligent, hard-working woman. But she has yet to spit out a baby or even get pregnant. What's her deal? She's failing miserably in her roll as a baby-assembly line. Since my wife is just a baby-assembly-line to me (and herself for that matter) maybe I should find a new woman who can churn some kids out (or fulfill her duties) at a faster pace. (note the sarcasm)

The absolute hate and ignorance pro-choice people like Pseudo-Adrienne view prolifers with is beyond my comprehension. It is almost as if she's never met a prolife person in her life.

Related: Scare Tactic? What Scare Tactic?

Illinois' governor funds human cloning while saying he's not funding human cloning

Illinois' governor, Rod Blagojevich, issued an executive order yesterday ordering the "Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health shall develop an Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute (IRMI) program within the department that will provide for the awarding of grants to medical research facilities for the development of finding treatments and cures from stem cell research."

This Institute will "award $10 million in grants to medical research facilities for the development of treatments and cures."

This press release announced, "The Executive Order also mandates that no funding will be authorized for research involving human cloning...."

But wait a second. The executive order clearly states:

2. The IRMI program shall provide funding for stem cell research that involves adult stem cells, cord blood stem cells, pluripotent stem cells, totipotent stem cells, progenitor cells, the product of somatic cell nuclear transfer or any combination of those cells. (emphasis added)

Somatic cell nuclear transfer is the scientific terminology for cloning.

So how does Blagojevich get away with saying he's not funding the cloning of humans when his executive order clearly states that he is?

His executive order continues:

3. No funds authorized or made available under the IRMI program shall be used for research involving the reproductive cloning of a human being, fetuses from induced abortions or to create embryos through the combination of gametes solely for the purpose of research. As used in this Executive Order, "cloning of a human being" means asexual human reproduction by implanting or attempting to implant the product of nuclear transplantation into a woman's uterus to initiate a human pregnancy.

Oh, that's how. You just redefine what "cloning of a human being" means to fit your desired ends and fool the unsuspecting public. Just imagine the wordsmith of the above paragraph trying to come up with this ridiculous definition of human cloning but struggling not to mention that the actual cloning of a human being has already taken place.

"....implanting or attempting to implant a human clone cloned embryo cloned blastocyst cloned product product of cloning product of nuclear transplantation......

Yes, that works. The average joe won't know that 'product of nuclear transplantation' really means 'cloned human being.' Where's my pat on the back, Rod?"

How sad is it that the leader of a state doesn't have guts to admit to the people that elected him what he is doing with their money?

What is also notable is that the executive won't fund research "to create embryos through the combination of gametes solely for the purpose of research." So why is it okay to fund research on human embryos created through cloning solely for the purpose of research yet not fund research which creates human embryos solely for the purpose of research?

HT: Jill Stanek

Should women be punished for having abortions?

Numerous pro-choice bloggers have linked to this video in which someone interviews prolife demonstrators from the Pro-Life Action League while they hold signs displaying images of aborted children in Libertyville, Illinois.

The film is produced by AtCenterNetwork which calls itself a "group that works for justice and nonviolent resolution of conflicts." The videos on the site are copyrighted by Lee Goodman, who is a former Democratic candidate for the U.S. House in Illinois and is pro-choice. He lost to pro-choice Republican Mark Kirk. Too bad all the Pets for Lee couldn't vote.

The interviews are done in a type of Michael Moore fashion and the viewer has no clue how many interviews weren't included in the video. Goodman also seems to only interview the volunteers who are holding the signs not individuals who work for the Pro-Life Action League. The main question is, "If abortion is made illegal, should woman who have illegal abortions be punished?"

The prolife demonstrators for the most part don't have good answers to this question. Many of them openly admit that they haven't thought about the issue before. Some of them say, "I don't have an answer for that" or "I don't know." Most of them don't want the woman to be punished.

Pro-choice reactions to this video vary from,

"So repeat after me: They aren't 'pro-life'; they're 'pro-criminalization'. Republicans don't want to prevent abortion; they want to prosecute and imprison any woman who gets an abortion"


"The video suggests to me that even the seeming extremists who stand out on street corners with signs (some of the people interviewed claim to have been doing this for two years) are less extreme than we think they are: they dislike abortion and want to protest it as an act, but they don't, when push comes to shove, think it should be criminalized."


"Anti-choice is the height of simplistic thinking. X is against my moral system means X should be illegal is childish thinking." (Warning - expletives)

To a certain extent watching these videos and seeing that prolifers aren't really interested in punishing women who have abortions must hurt the oft-uttered pro-choice assertion that prolifers just want to punish women who engage in sex outside of marriage.

From the discussion on the pro-choice web sites, there doesn't seem to be any thought given to the fact that abortion used to be illegal in the United States and women were hardly locked up for life. In countries where abortion is illegal and is a punishable offense for women who have abortions, such as Portugal, it is virtually impossible to convict the woman. There simply isn't that much evidence if the woman doesn't want to admit to the abortion. Prosecuting women also endangers the possibility of convicting the abortionist since prosecuting the woman hardly endears her to testify against the abortionist.

JT at Between Two Worlds had a fairly comprehensive post on this subject.

I've also discussed this topic before at the challenge of JT.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

New Study: Post-abortive women are more likely to use illegal drugs during later pregnancies

From the Elliot Institute:

Springfield, IL (July 11, 2005)-- A new study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology has found that women with a history of induced abortion are three times more likely to use illegal drugs during a subsequent pregnancy. The study supports a growing body of evidence which suggests that later pregnancies may arouse unresolved grief over prior abortions which women may seek to suppress by increased reliance on drugs and alcohol.

Researchers from Bowling State University, the University of Texas, and the Elliot Institute examined data from a study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The data included 1,020 women who gave birth in one of eight Washington, D.C.-area hospitals during 1992. Analyses of the data revealed that while women who had induced abortions were significantly more likely to engage in substance use during subsequent pregnancies, women who had experienced miscarriages or stillbirths were not.

Previous studies have found that women with a history of abortion are subsequently at increased risk for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, suicidal tendencies and psychiatric hospitalization. At least 21 previous studies have linked abortion with increased rates of subsequent drug and alcohol abuse.

Hillary Clinton: Champion of a "right" that should be reduced?

The New York Times has an article regarding Hillary's web site for her 2006 Senate campaign.

"On a Web site that is to go into operation on Wednesday, Hillary for Senate (, Mrs. Clinton's re-election campaign, also highlights her goal of reducing abortions by preventing unwanted pregnancies, even as it casts her as a champion of abortion rights."

Are there any other "rights" besides abortion where a high profile candidate will position themselves as a champion of that right while at the same time positioning themselves as trying to reduce how many times that right is exercised?

It obviously doesn't work for many of the rights we consider foundational. Imagine someone being a champion for the right to free speech yet saying that we should work to reduce the number of nonviolent protests. Or a champion of voting rights working to reduce the number of votes that are cast in a given election. Both situations are absurd.

I thought of other issues such as gambling or alcohol use where a legislator could possibly favor having legal gambling and alcohol use yet still try to discourage individuals from gambling or using alcohol. Though plausible, I hardly think it highly unlikely to see someone who is a "champion" of gambling rights/interests saying that the number of people who gamble each year should decrease.

If abortion is a right, especially if it is the kind of foundational right that pro-choice organizations make it out to be, then why should we be working to limit how many times a year this right is exercised? Shouldn't the champions of abortion rights be happy that 1.3 million times a year, women are exercising their rights?

This is the conundrum where many pro-choice politicians find themselves today. On one hand, the "right" to abortion must be firmly recognized, yet on the other hand the number of abortions performed annually should decrease because of how repulsive abortion is. Americans know that an unborn child isn't a mere clump of cells so not caring how many abortions are performed or encouraging higher numbers of abortions won't fly.

HT: The Buzz

Life Links 7/12

Another reason to hate NARAL.

Nat Henthof on Terri Schiavo: "This is the seminal case for whether euthanasia for the seriously disabled becomes embedded in the American way of death." HT: Wesley Smith

Naaman on the World Health Organization's decision to add the abortion drug cocktail to its list of "essential" medicines. Here's the application and review of the application to have the cocktail (composed of mifepristone and misoprostol) included on the WHO's list.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Another example of the mainstream media's deception on embryonic stem cell research

Last Sunday, PARADE magazine's cover story was on stem cell research. The Sunday morning "magazine" known best for their page behind the cover where Walter Scott answers questions about celebrities also took a poll looking to create find what Americans believe about stem cell research and cloning. The poll was commissioned by PARADE alongside Research! America, which is described as a "nonprofit public education and advocacy group." Unknown to the ordinary reader is what Research! America advocates for. One thing they happen to advocate for is .... wait .... wait.... embryonic stem cell research.

Why is a "news" magazine co-commissioning a poll with an organization that is actively advocating a position on the issue they are polling people about? Why aren't readers of PARADE told that the people asking the questions are actively advocating for embryonic stem cell research? Could that have affected how questions were asked and therefore answered?

The article and poll just add to the garbage dump-sized pile of evidence that mainstream media continues to try to shape America's opinion on these issues and don't even really want to try to ask balanced questions.

One question asks, "Scientists now can make embryonic stem cells for medical research by merging an unfertilized egg with a skin cell, for example. In other words, no fertilization takes place and there is no merger of egg and sperm. Knowing this, do you favor or oppose embryonic stem cell research?"

The results: 69% said they "favor," 22% "oppose" and 9% "don't know."

The headline of this slide on the poll slide show says, "American Favor Cloning Technology to Make Embryonic Stem Cells."

Notice how the poll never mentions the word "cloning," never mentions that an embryo is created through this technique and never mentions that a cloned embryo must be destroyed in order for scientists to create stem cells. The person answering the questions (if not learned on this subject) is left by this question with the erroneous impression that scientists can basically create embryonic stem cell without ever creating an embryo.

While this poll was specifically trying to deceptively describe so-called therapeutic cloning, some scientists are hoping to work on something called altered nuclear transfer which hopes to create pluripotent stem cells with cloning technology without creating an embryo.

Another question mentions the word "cloning" but doesn't mention what is being cloned.

"Therapeutic cloning is the use of cloning technology to help in the search for possible cures and treatments for diseases and disabilities. Do you think that research into therapeutic cloning should be allowed?"

Even though "cloning" is used, the question never mentions that a human embryo is created thru cloning. If the person answering the question hasn't heard about "therapeutic" cloning before the poll then all they know about it is that it helps scientists looking for cures. They don't know an embryo is created and then destroyed for their parts.

The results: 59% favor, 35% oppose, and 6% don't know.

This is what James Thomson, the first person to isolate embryonic stem cells, was talking about when he was interviewed by Newsweek and said, "See, you're trying to define it away, and it doesn't work. If you create an embryo by nuclear transfer, and you give it to somebody who didn't know where it came from, there would be no test you could do on that embryo to say where it came from. It is what it is.

It's true that they have a much lower probability of giving rise to a child. … But by any reasonable definition, at least at some frequency, you're creating an embryo. If you try to define it away, you're being disingenuous."

Looking at the Research! America glossary page for a greater idea about how biased and deceptive those in charge of this poll are.

For example:

Embryo—a medical term that refers to a group of cells that arise from a fertilized egg (after merging of egg and sperm). An embryo does have the potential to become a complete organism. The embryonic stage ends at eight weeks of development.

Has the potential to become a complete organism? I wonder where Research! America got their definition because they certainly didn't get it from an embryology book.

Therapeutic cloning—the use of cloning technology to help in the search for possible cures and treatments for diseases and disabilities.

Could you be a little more vague or positive?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Partial-birth abortion ruling

The Eight Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 is unconstitutional.

The ruling is here.

The Associated Press article is here.

They found the ban unconstitutional because it didn't provide an exception for the health of the mother because they are "bound," in the absence of new evidence, by the Supreme Court's ruling in Stenberg v. Carhart that "substantial medical authority" necessitates a health exception in laws dealing with abortion.

However, they did disagree with the District Court's opinion that the Act posed an undue burden on a woman's "right to have an abortion."

Thankfully with a Bush 43 Supreme Court appointment, Stenberg and Carhart and it absurd conclusions will soon be, as Justice Scalia said in his dissent, "assigned its rightful place in the history of this Court's jurisprudence beside Korematsu and Dred Scott."

HT: The Corner

Alberto Gonzales for the Supreme Court?

He says he isn't a candidate. He's been saying that since 2001.

Andrew McCarthy, Ramesh Ponnuru and Edward Whelan have all discussed the recusal problems a Justice Gonzales would entail.

What is fueling these rumors? Bill Kristol's piece in the Weekly Standard?

Gonzales is even the odds-on favorite of gamblers.

It seems that only an official nomination will stop the DC rumor mill.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Talk About Random

It must have been back in October of 2004 when Glen Stassen first editorialized about abortions increasing under Bush. Besides blogging about Stassen's faulty use of faulty statistics, I also sent an e-mail to Professor Stassen regarding his statistics and his methods. Today I received an e-mail back from Professor Stassen. It seems to be a type of form e-mail that he sent out en masse to different individuals who commented on his editorial.

His e-mail to me (and most likely others) is basically a defense of statistics and analysis. It includes no mention of the imaginary enormous large rise in abortions for Colorado and Arizona that comprise the large majority of his mythical increase. To date I have never seen Professor Stassen admit that the faulty statistics from these two states were the main source of his claims.

He also never mentions the analysis by the Alan Guttmacher Institute which found that abortions have decreased during Bush's early years in office or his own admittance that the statistics from the AGI were more accurate than his.

His last paragraph concludes with, "If the number of abortions also increased by approximately 48,000 above what would have been expected if the decline in the previous decade had continued, and they increased in 2002 by approximately another 48,000, then the total number of abortions in 2002 was about 96,000 more than expected. If that trend continued again in 2003, then almost half of the decrease during the decade of the 1990s has now been reversed. We will not know that until more of the 2003 data are in, but the same causal factors that I named have continued throughout the Bush presidency, and the five states whose 2003 data I do have confirm it decisively."

Why is Glen Stassen sending an e-mail out defending his statistical methods months after he has admitted that his conclusions weren't correct and the AGI analysis was "significantly better?" Why is he talking as if the statistics from more states aren't available? Unless this e-mail response has been lost is cyberspace for the last 8+ months, Professor Stassen is sending out an intentionally deceptive e-mail to individuals who e-mailed him. The response acts like the AGI's analysis doesn't exist and he still has a case.

Other statements made by Stassen in his e-mail to me:

During the present administration, women's unemployment increased above 6%, and the abortion rate has increased....

The total number of abortions nationally was 3.265 times as many as in the sixteen states. This suggests that the national increase in abortions in 2001 was 3.625 times 6,007, or about 20,000 instead of the 28,000 decrease that had been the trend in the 1990s....

The ten states for which I have the data in 2000 handy had their abortions increase by 4,067 in 2001, just about exactly the same proportion as the increase for sixteen states in 2002.

London Terror Attack Round-Up

It now seems that at least 40 have died and more than 300 have been injured. These numbers are much larger than the early reports of something like 4 dead and around 100 injured. How sad is it that terrorists design their attack plans to coincide with a meeting of world leaders hoping to work on poverty and AIDS in Africa?

These people are heartless self-involved savages who can't stand not being the center of the world's attention for more than a couple of days. Trying to save people (many of whom are Muslims) from starving and dying of AIDS? That's nothing to them compared to their desire to kill innocent people.

Michelle Malkin: Who did it?

Imago Dei "We are All Brits Now"

Tony Blair: "Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilised nations throughout the world."

George Bush: "we will not yield to these people, will not yield to the terrorists. We will find them, we will bring them to justice, and at the same time, we will spread an ideology of hope and compassion that will overwhelm their ideology of hate."

Life Links 7/7

Robert Novak says sources are telling him Rehnquist will retire within the week.

Adding to the tension is word from court sources that ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist also will announce his retirement before the week is over. That would enable Bush to play this game: Name one justice no less conservative than Rehnquist, and name Gonzales, whose past record suggests he would replicate retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on abortion and possibly other social issues. Thus, the present ideological orientation of the court would be unchanged, which would suit the left just fine.

But why would Bush play that game? Because he's stubborn and doesn't like conservatives dissing Gonzales? I would sincerely hope our President's reasons for selecting a nominee are greater than the playground reasoning of "I'll show you." I don't think President Bush is the kind of guy who likes to leave things as they are. He's a man committed to making changes, including changing the make up of the Supreme Court. I don't think he wants to be remembered as the President who could have changed the make up of the Supreme Court but didn't.

HT: Michelle Malkin

NARAL is all about buying web sites that stop(enter possible Supreme Court nominee's last name).com.

Why did stars and musicians who are interested in eradicating poverty in Africa take home goodie bags worth $12,000 each? HT: Apologies Demanded

If you want to read a really bad column - check out this one by Bonnie Erbe. It includes a comparison of conservatives wanting a conservative judge with the "religious tyranny" of Iran, a complete lack of understating regarding parental consent laws and their relation to Roe, the oft-repeated lie about what Gonzales supposedly said about Priscilla Owen (Erbe even goes so far as to change activism into activis(ts)), and the claim that Planned Parenthood v. Casey left only a skeletal version of Roe.

Ms. Erbe also works as the host of a show for PBS. Yeah tax dollars!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Life Links 7/6

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal discusses the Roe Effect.

Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, is embarrassing herself by continuing to hold on to the 5-4 myth. In the meantime, NARAL has dropped their razor-thin 5-4 rhetoric and now their main Supreme Court page just says O'Connor's retirement "gives President Bush and the radical right the chance they've been waiting for to overturn Roe v. Wade."

A young pro-choice feminist discusses NOW's recent conference and how it was "a negative experience" for her.

Prolife ex-Senator Fred Thompson who plays a prolife district attorney on 17 different Law and Order shows will "shepherd" Bush's Supreme Court nominee thru confirmation process.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Why O'Connor was a Poor Justice

From a Washington post article:

On a nine-member court that often mirrored the liberal-conservative split of the larger society, O'Connor repeatedly cast the fifth and deciding vote, not to establish sweeping new constitutional principles but to make law that she thought would make sense to the American people. (emphasis added)

Who needs legislators, governors, presidents, the Constitution and elections when you can have 5 unelected lawyers make law by deciding what they think would make sense to the American people.

The unfortunate reality is that too many people think judges making laws isn't that bad.

Safe and Legal?

The home page of NOW's web site is featuring four pictures of women who supposedly died from abortion because they couldn't obtain safe and legal abortions.

One of the pictures is of Becky Bell, a teenager from Indiana whose name is trotted out to lobby against parental notification/consent laws. According to pro-choice organizations, Becky died from a back-alley abortion in 1988 because she didn't want to tell her parents about her pregnancy.

Their evidence for this assertion? Scant. Dr. Jack Willke discusses Bell's death and autopsy in Chapter 28 of his book "Why Can't We Love them Both."

Carolyn Gargaro also discusses The Truth Behind the Becky Bell Story.

Besides continuing to disseminate false information about Becky Bell's death, I'm wondering why NOW doesn't feature the pictures of women who died from abortion that were legal and therefore supposedly safe.

Where's the picture of Holly Patterson?

Or Tamia Russell?

Or the numerous other women who've died after they were told their legal abortion would be safe?

Friday, July 01, 2005

O'Connor Retires: It Begins

The story from Fox News.

While the pro-choice groups would have put up a fist fight against a nominee to replace Rehnquist, that's nothing compared to the bar room brawl they'll take part in to stop the appointment of a conservative justice to replace one of their favorite "moderates." Remember O'Connor voted that bans against partial-birth abortion are unconstitutional.

NARAL's website is still saying that the Supreme Court favors Roe v. Wade by a "razor-thin 5-4 majority" and to get into their home page you have to first go thru this page which states: "The battle for the Supreme Court has begun....Don't let his choice end yours."

A few queries:

Will the departure of a female justice mean that Bush will attempt to appoint a female justice to replace her? Planned Parenthood mentions two possible female Supreme Court nominees: Edith Jones and Edith Brown Clement.

Will Bush attempt to appoint the first (possibly second if you count Benjamin Cardozo) Hispanic judge to the Supreme Court? Samuel Alito Jr., Miguel Estrada, Alberto Gonzales, and Emilio Garza are all names that have been bantered around.

Note to Karen Schreier

The AP is reporting that Judge Karen Schreier has blocked a South Dakota law regarding abortion from taking effect.

In her ruling, she wrote:

"The South Dakota statute requires abortion doctors to enunciate the state's viewpoint on an unsettled medical, philosophical, theological and scientific issue, that is, whether a fetus is a human being."

Judge Schreier, can you please explain how whether an organism is a human being or not is a philosophical or theological issue? Isn't the issue of what something is biologically an issue for biology?

Secondly, are you aware that every major textbook in embryology clearly states that a human fetus is in fact a human being and has been so from the moment of conception?

Does that sound "unsettled?"

Karen Schreier has a history of ruling against South Dakota's laws dealing with abortion including striking down two laws that had been in place for approximately 30 years.

HT: Bush v. Choice

Life Links 7/1

Naaman gets a hold of Ludlow's 95 Theses of the Religious Right and it isn't pretty for Professor Ludlow.

Missouri's Governor Matt Blunt, who opposes abortion, continues to show he either has no clue what he is talking about regarding human cloning or is a very bad liar with his letter to National Review.

Maggie Gallagher and Robert George have recently commented on Mario Cuomo's take on embryonic stem cell research.